Bible Studies In The Christian Library
 
ROMANS CHAPTER 8

NOTE: Chapter eight must be considered an extension of Paul discussion in chapter seven concerning the Law of Moses and how Christians are freed from the "Law of Sin and Death." Considering it such is the only way the conclusion of chapter seven can make any sense for Christians.
 
 

Verses 1-4 "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2- For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3- For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4- that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
 
 

A. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."
1. This passage shows what the Law of Christ can do, as opposed to the Law of Moses. While there is an endless battle under the Law of Moses to live perfectly, thus making a person a slave of sin, there is complete justification under the Law of Christ, simply because there is forgiveness.
a. MacArthur notes that no here is from the Greek word Ouketi and is an emphatic negative adverb of time and carries with it complete cessation. This would simply mean that Paul was trying to stress that there was absolutely no condemnation for their past sins since they were "in Christ."
2. This forgiveness is found "in Christ," which simply means in the body of Christ, the church.
a. A major theme of Paul in Romans. See 3:24, 26; 5:1, 11, 17; 6:11.

b. The New Testament says that we enter the body of Christ by being baptized into it. See Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:26-27.

3. The last part of the verse also shows that a person must not only be baptized into Christ, but they should also walk in the Spirit.
a. It is significant that the last part of the passage is not found in many manuscripts. This is one reason why the American Standard Version and the New American Standard Version does not have it.

b. Verse four has virtually the same language and is included in most translations.

B. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."
1. Paul again contrasts the Law of Christ, which he calls the "Law of the Spirit of life in Christ," with the Old Law, which he labels as the law of sin and death." 

2. Notice the contrast between the two. The Law of Christ is a law of life because it will bring eternal life (John 8:32, 36). The Law of Moses is a law of death because it condemns without a vehicle for total remission of sins.

C. "For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh"
1. This explains exactly what we just mentioned in verse 2. The Law of Christ is able to do what the Law of Moses never could. It could never destroy the sin that reigned in the body of mankind!
D. "that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
1. It has always been the purpose of Godís law to direct man in obedience to the will of God. But because of the weakness of man, and that there was no remission for sins available, it condemned. But the Law of Christ enables man to come to God without guilt. Under the Law of Moses man had to always approach God with his sins, depending on a forgiveness that was to yet come. Now, when man approaches God it is sinless, based on the blood of His Son.
Verses 5-8 "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6- For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7- Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8- So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
 
 
A. "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit."
1. Does this passage, and subsequent ones, deal with regenerate vs. unregenerate Christians. I do not believe so. It would simply be against any context to interpret it thus. It is clearly talking about Christians who have been freed from the Law of Moses.

2. The contrast is the same as before. Those under the Law are preoccupied with keeping the fleshly ordinances, plus the weight of unforgiven sins. The Christians is set free to live after the Spirit of Christ.

B. "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
1. When one is centered on the things of the Law one is basically concerned with carnal ordinance keeping. These things only bring about spiritual death without justification. But the Law of Christ brings life and peace because it provides forgiveness of sins. 

2. Concerning peace, see Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 1:20.

C. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8- So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
1. One who has not been born again still has sin dominating them. They are not living by Godís law (the gospel). So, no matter how hard they try, they cannot please God, based on their own righteousness.

2. This attitude, of course, can denote any man who tries to just himself before God without the gospel.
 
 
 
 

VERSE 9- "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."
 
 
A. "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you"
1. "In the flesh" means living fleshly. The Holy Spirit now dwells in the Christian as a result of the ir conversion to Christ.

2. See Acts 2:38; Ephesians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:22

B. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."
1. Notice that in this verse the Holy Spirit is described in two different ways. He is the Spirit of God, but also the Spirit of Christ. This shows the plural nature of the Godhead.

2. If the Holy does not indwell the Christian he does not belong to the Lord. When is that Spirit obtained? It is obtained when we are baptized into Christ! See Acts 2:38.

3. Again the thought is that the man who seeks to live under the Law of Moses cannot have the Spirit dwelling in him because it is not promised to him. He must live in the flesh. But the Christian has the promise of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him.
 
 

VERSES 10, 11- "And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11- But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."
 
 
A. "And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness"
1. Even though we are still laboring under the handicap of possessing mortal body which are subject to sin, we have the Spirit in us gives us life and overcomes sin. This again is a great contrast. What the Law could not do, the New Law, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can!

2. The second spirit here must not refer to the Holy Spirit, but our spirits.

B. "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."
1. Here is the promise of Christ. If we receive the Holy Spirit, through baptism into Christ, then our lives will be given new birth! This is promised in John 3:3-5.

2. But it is also likely that Paul is referring to resurrection day when our mortal bodies will be raised up as incorruptible.
 
 

Verses 12-13 "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors; not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13- For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."
 
 
A. "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors; not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh."
1. Christian are now under obligation to live "in the spirit." It is an obligation that they have voluntarily take on. It is not a duty imposed but an obligation freely taken.
B. "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."
1. Again, if we live by the Law sin will dominate us and we will be lost, for there is no forgiveness under the Law system. But if we live by the rule of the Spirit, we will live eternally.
VERSES 14-18 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:15- "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."" 16- "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17- "and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18- "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
 
 
A. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."
1. A person becomes a son of God by being baptized into Christ.

2. A Christian is led by the Spirit of God by following the Spirits word, the Word of God. See Ephesians 6:17.

B. "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."" 
1. Those who lived under the Old Law had an attitude of slavery, not really being free. See John 8:34-38.

2. But instead of being slaves to the demand of the Old Law, each Christian has willingly submitted to the will of Christ and has been adopted into the family of God.

a. Adoption carried a different meaning in Roman times than today. In Roman society a man would often choose a grown man who he would adopt in order to pass on the family name and wealth. There would often be more tenderness in this relationship because it was a joint voluntary arrangement.
3. "Abba, father" is an Aramaic term which is a term of endearment between a small child and his father. It is what a small child would cry out when in need!
C. "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God"
1. How does the Spirit bear witness with our spirit? We can be assured of this in the same way as how we are led by the Spirit, through His word. When we do what Godís Spirit has said to become, and stay a Christian, then it testifies that we are Godís children.
D. "and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together."
1. God has prepared a rich inheritance to His children. See Matthew 25:34; Acts 26:18; 1 Peter 1:4.

2. But Paul also says that it will be necessary to suffer for Christ before we enter that inheritance. "Suffering with Him" means suffering persecution for Christ in the same way that Jesus suffered persecution when he lived here on this earth.

a. See 2 Corinthians 1:5; Phillippians 1:7; 2 Timothy 2:12.
E. "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
1. Paul seeks to give them encouragement for the coming persecution by telling them that what they are going through and will go through is light compared to the great joy that they will have in Heaven.

2. Paul is probably using an illustration that the Romans would have readily understood, that of a balance scales. He was saying that when you placed the persecution on one side and the inheritance on the other, the inheritance far outweighed it!

VERSES 19-22 "For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20- "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21- "because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22- "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23- Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.""
 
 
A. "For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God."
1. What exactly is Paul talking about here? Two interpretation given.
a. That Paul is speaking of the natural world which has been corrupted by the introduction of sin into the world. The thought is that the whole earth, in a figurative sense, longs for the coming redemption by Christ and the end of time!

b. The other is that creation here refers to all of mankind, which has been corrupted by the entrance of sin into the world.

2. Both of these alternative has some drawbacks. But is does seem that number two is the more likely interpretation.
a. The word used for creation here is the same that Jesus used in Mark 16:16 to refer to the people of the creation. Also Colossians 1:23
3. The "revealing of the sons of God" will likely be at the second coming when all who are faithful Christians will be revealed for all to see fully.
B. "For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope"
1. Mankind was subjected to itís punishment of separation from God against their will. Adam, even though sinning did not willingly leave the Garden of Eden, but was driven out (Genesis 3:24).

2. But God imposed the penalty in hope, i.e. he had a plan to redeem mankind even as he imposed the sentence. 

C. "because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."
1. All mankind who approach God in faith and live faithful lives will be redeemed form the corruption of this life and will be set free eternally and God children.
D. "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now."
1. All mankind yearns for release from the bondage of spiritual separation from God, even today. Though not all will accept the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, all have a desire for a spiritual walk with God.
E. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body."
1. Godís people yearn for that day of final redemption more than the rest of the creation. 

2. Reese translates the passage adding "though we have the firstfruits of the Spirit."
 
 

VERSES 24-25 "For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25- But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."
 
 
A. "For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope"
1. Hope is an earnest expectation for something that we have not seen. It is a desire and assurance that we will receive something that we do not presently have. Robert Taylor says, "When a quest has been realized, hope disappears. Hope is out of place if it is a already a present possession. In hoping for that not yet seen, then we exercise the necessary patience (endurance, steadfastness) in awaiting its coveted arrival.

2. KJV has "saved by hope" which seems to be the better rendering. This translation has been shied away from because of the translators enamorment with the faith-only doctrine.

B. "but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?"
1. Paul states the essence of hope. When we can see is not hope at all. Hope is a trust and expectation in the unseen. This is the nature of our salvation, a trust in unseen things! We do not see Heaven, nor do we seen God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. But hope assures us that they are all real.

2. Hope in the Christian sense, is not a vague pipedream without any foundation. Hope, even though we do not see the object of our hope, is based on solid evidence.

C. "But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."
1. We must persevere in our hope. We must never give up our hope. It will bear fruit!
 
 
VERSES 26-27 "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27- Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
 
 
A. "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
1. There are several points that are obvious in this passage:
a. Godís Spirit helps us in some way with our weaknesses. As Guy N. Woods so ably stated, "There is a difference between what the Spirit does for a Christians as opposed to what he does to a Christian" This work is done in Heaven on our behalf, not to us on earth.

b. There are times when we do not know how to pray. This should be self evident! There are times when we simply do not know what do say when we approach God. There are yearnings of the heart.

c. The Holy Spirit takes our groanings before the throne of grace and present them before the heavenly Father. These groanings cannot be a strange language that the Spirit uses! It is interesting that the term "groanings is the same as found in verse 22-23. We could substitute the \word "yearnings" also.

B."Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will oGod." 
1. "He who searches the heart" is evidently the heavenly Fathers. He knows the mind of the Spirit. There is an intimate relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Heavenly Father. See 1 Corinthians 2:11. 

2. Notice that the intercession that the Spirit does is according to the will of God. Anything that the Holy Spirit does would never be in violation with the written revelation.
 
 

VERSE 28- "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
 
 
A. Several elements to this verse.
1. First, all thing work together for good. Not everything that happens to the Christian is good. But everything that happens in the Christian can work for a common good.

2. Second, it is for those who love God. The Bible teaches that those who love God are faithful Christians who do His will. See John 14:15 and 1 John 5:3.

3. Third, it is for those who are called according to His purpose. We must never seek to be blessed in our own will. It must be according to Godís will. See Matthew 6:10 and Matthew 26:42.
 
 

VERSES 29-30 "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30- Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."
 
 
A. "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son"
1. This passage is closely akin to Ephesians 1:4-5.

2. Paul is speaking of the predestination of grous here, as well as there.

3. It was Godís desire that those whom would come to Him would become spiritually like His Son, i.e. they would take on the spiritual characteristics of Him.

B. "that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."
1. The term "firstborn" carries with it a position of great honor and prestige, much like that of "first citizen" in Roman society. 

2. This is not giving credance, as some would try to infer, to the notion that Jesus was a created being. The fact is that Jesus is coexistent with the heavenly Father. He has always existed. See John 1:1-2; Colossians 1:15-19.

3. What Paul was intending was to show that those whom were predestined and called would become part of Godís family and this have a special relationship with the Father and His Son.

C. "Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."
1. This passage will explain to us the way in which we are predestined. Those who are predestined are called. But how are we called? We are called by the gospel. See 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14. The called ones are the ones whom God predestined to be conformed to image of his Son.

2. Justification is a legal term showing that one was no longer guilty, by virtue of the crime being removed.
 
 

VERSES 8:31-33 "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32- He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33- Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies."
 
 
A. "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"
1. Paul is drawing some conclusions based on what he has said previously. How far back is Paul drawing. Taylor maintains that he is speaking specifically to verses 29-30. Reese says that he might possibly be reaching back as far as Romans 5:1. It would seem to me that Taylorís contention is closer to the likely answer. 

2. If God has prepared this plan for redemption through His Son, who is it who can truly stand against us. The question is a rhetorical one, with the answer being obvious. No one!

3. It would seem obvious that Paul was not considering whether or not a person could decide to go back into the world. He was talking about all the great forces that were arrayed against us. No of them could take us away from God (John 10:28-29). This does not cancel out the freewill of mankind.

B. "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
1. Paul is using an argument of logic know as, "arguing from the greater to the lesser." Basically it states that if "x is true, and it is more difficult than y, surely y must be true also."

2. If God was able to give His Son for us, isnít it obvious that He would protect the followers of His Son from any enemy whom would seek to destroy them. See 1 Corinthians 10:13.

C. Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies."
1. Since there is no one higher in the universe than God, who then can really bring an accusation against Godís elect?
VERSES 34-37 "Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35- Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36- As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." 37- Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
 
 
A. "Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
1. Again, if God made such a way of salvation for His people, who is there who can truthfully bring an accusation against His people? Of course the Devil is called "the accuser of our brethren" (Revelation 12:9-10) has always tried but has always failed.

2. What is more, Christ is at the right hand of God making intercession for his brothers and sisters.

B. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"
1. Notice that all of these things that Paul mentioned would have been of immediate concern to the child of God in the first century. They faced all of these things. Paul is comforting them with the fact that none of these enemies can really separate us from Godís love!

2. It is almost certain that Paul has suffered all of these calamities, thus being able to add further weight to what he is saying.

C. "As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
1. Paul quotes Psalm 44:22 here. Why? This should serve as a great encouragement to Paulís readers. If the Old Testament saints could suffer great trials and tribulations and still remain faithful, why canít they?
D. "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
1. We gain more than a victory, it is an exceedingly great, glorious victory through Christ. It is by his power and strength that we are able to overcome.
VERSES 38-39 "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39- nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
 
 
A. "For I am persuaded that..."
1. Paul breaks forth with a fitting conclusion to this section. He declared that there is no power in Heaven or earth, no power in this life or the grave, nothing created, who can separated us from Christ! Neither is there anything that will ever come in the future who will have the power to snatch us away from God.
B. "shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
1. The expression of Godís love is Christ and his redemptive plan. No one can snatch us away from Christ!
Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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